We ‘Kenny’ Keep him

Last season's top scorer for Derry City, Mark Timlin looks to be on his way to a top Dublin club.
Last season's top scorer for Derry City, Mark Timlin looks to be on his way to a top Dublin club.

KENNY SHIELS has opened talks with Derry City’s out-of-contract players this week but has admitted defeat in his attempts to convince last season’s top goalscorer, Mark Timlin to commit his future to the club.

The Derry City manager has scheduled meetings with several players throughout the week but insists Timlin’s future is now ‘out of his control’ as the Buncrana man appears to be closing in on a move to a top Dublin club.

St Patrick’s Athletic are understood to be in pole position to capture the player’s signature, as exclusively revealed by the ‘Journal’ last month, with a move expected to be completed by the end of the week.

Shiels spoke to Timlin, who netted 12 times for the ‘Candy Stripes’ during the 2015 campaign at the weekend, however, it’s believed that the winger is set on a move to Dublin.

While Shiels is convinced former Ipswich Town wideman, Timlin will end a two year association with Derry City this week, he regrets that he is set to lose one of last season’s top performers.

“I’ve spoken to Mark and it looks like he’s going to Dublin,” revealed the Derry City boss.

He’s done well for Derry City and it’s unfortunate we’ve lost such a good player.

Kenny Shiels

“So I understand that’s out of my hands and I can’t control that.

“He’s done well for Derry City and it’s unfortunate we’ve lost such a good player.”

Shiels will have face-to-face talks with several other out-of-contract players this week, including Patrick McEleney and Gerard Doherty whose futures remain in the balance.

“I’ve touched base with all the players on the roster,” he added. “I’ve arranged meetings with most of them for this week.

“And I’m trying to arrange meetings with the players that aren’t based in Derry, like Aaron Barry and the people living down south.

“Ryan (McBride) is in America but I’ve spoken to him already. I’ve spoken with practically everyone else.

“I have also spoken to Patrick (McEleney) who was due to play a match with Peterborough yesterday.

We will sit down on Wednesday when he gets back and we’ll see what we can do.”

And he hopes to meet the majority of last season’s squad at a meeting next Tuesday as the players receive updates on their close season training programmes.

Team meeting

“I’ve got the squad in next Tuesday for some BMI testing and injury prevention programmes and I want to see where they’re at.

“It’s a dual purpose get-together. It’s a chance to meet the players rather than them come in, in a couple of months time, and meet me for the first time. I want to be able to start developing relationships.”

While he does have his own shortlist of potential transfer targets, his first step is to evaluate how many members of last season’s squad are willing to re-sign for the club.

“I don’t want to duplicate too much, for example, it’s no good if we speak to our two centre-backs and they both agree to sign contracts, meanwhile I go and try and get another one in.

“Budget management is about being sure of what you have before you go out to replace. I could end up with too many and if you don’t make contingency plans you can end up with none.”

Shiels has already made good on his promise to closely monitor the Brandywell club’s underage set-up and the development of its youth system as he attended the U19s 3-2 win over Drogheda at the weekend and will be present at Brandywell tonight to watch the club’s reserve team.